Spire Topics

Has your business outgrown QuickBooks? 

 Along with Intuit’s various product offerings, QuickBooks has been the go-to accounting software for small businesses across North America for years. Today, small growing companies can consider Pro, Plus, Enterprise and even Online (QBO) versions of QuickBooks, with many add-ons to meet growing demands. Although Intuit has done an excellent job of providing different software options, the reality is that QuickBooks and all its versions are designed for small businesses but offer little room for growth. The lack of scalability and flexibility leaves owners feeling the limits of their accounting software. 

Business Growth

The growth of a business isn’t always measured by profit revenue or how many employees it has. Loss of time, productivity and employee engagement are contributing factors to why a business can be stagnant. Growth is also seen in changes to processes for meeting customer demands. Acquiring new equipment and product lines or ensuring regulatory compliance may also be considered “growth.” With the various ways business owners face growth, scalable software is needed to keep up and help the business maintain its success. 

Many small and medium-sized companies use one version or another of QuickBooks as their first financial software. It’s simple to use, well known and provides basic features that enable almost every organization to get up and running. However, when all goes well and your company expands, you quickly run into some limitations that will inevitably force many QuickBooks Desktop users to move to a more comprehensive accounting and business management solution.

Are you feeling the limitations of QuickBooks? 

Collecting and processing your financial and operational data becomes more complicated when your company expands. Your supply chain is not the fine-tuned machine you thought it was, and the many workarounds you have in place are beginning to make you fear that you may be unable to keep up. To help evaluate if you’ve outgrown QuickBooks and all its versions, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do we need to be entering data manually? Are there more integrated or automated ways to get the information we need into the system?
  • Are we managing some or most of our inventory outside of QuickBooks? In spreadsheets or add-ons? 
  • Are we paying for more than one system or application to meet our requirements? 
  • Are we transferring data from one system to the next to keep everything current?
  • Do we have the flexibility to manage inventory between warehouses?
  • Can we easily update prices and projects based on accurate inventory counts? 
  • Can we customize quotes and manage partial shipments, backorders and RMA’s well?

If the answers to these questions are less than optimal, it might be a good sign that it’s time to look forward. However, moving forward isn’t always so easy. QuickBooks users will often consider staying within the QuickBooks family because the jump to a complete ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution is too much. Too much learning, too much time, too much money. Up until now. 

Spire is your upgrade from QuickBooks 

Switching to Spire from QuickBooks has never been so simple. Spire has become a solution to the problems QuickBooks users face. Our business management solution is designed to give your business ERP power without the hefty ERP ticket price. With all our modules fully integrated, Spire gives you the power of an ERP without requiring so many extra apps and add-ons. Spire includes a conversion tool specifically designed to migrate all of your current and historical QuickBooks Desktop (Pro, Premier and Enterprise editions) data without losing any information.

Now is the right time. Switch to Spire and start working with software that is made to grow with your company.

Schedule a free, no-obligation discovery call and let’s see if Spire is right for you. 


Spire Lot Tracking

Spire lot tracking software can help significantly boost efficiency, accuracy, and profitability.

What is Lot Tracking Software?

Lot tracking, also known as batch tracking, helps a business with product traceability. Software solutions with lot tracking not only keep inventory accuracy but also offers the ability to track product lots through the entire supply chain, which allows you to track groups of products/shipments from the supplier, to the point it reaches your warehouse, to then the customer.

Lot tracking is also important in achieving compliance with the FDA, CFIA and/or ISO. This is the case if your business is in a sector such as:

  • Food distribution
  • Pharmaceutical and medical
  • Automotive
  • Children’s products

Your Business Challenges

If you run a business without batch tracking, you are likely aware of the disadvantages. These issues include:

  • The lack of being able to check full information about a product quickly.
  • If an inventory is manually checked, this can lead to problems – both in terms of human error incorrectly listing the correct stock numbers and ensuring products are constantly in stock.
  • You may not be complying with industry standards.
  • You cannot track products end-to-end from the manufacturer to the customer.
  • As information isn’t immediately accessible, it is almost impossible to facilitate recalls.


Spire offers many advantages that can give your business an edge over competitors. These include:

  • Recalls are easy: Thanks to lot traceability, you can keep check of everything that revolves around your products. All information is on-hand and readily accessible, which makes it easy to check up on products that need to be recalled.
  • Expiry dates are no longer a concern: You can forget about expiry dates causing trouble. As all information is easily accessible and available, you can quickly respond to any products close to expiration. You can even set it so that products are on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis, where products with the earliest expiry are shipped first.
  • Communication made easy: As you have all the information on hand, such as a product’s lot number, expiry date and date of purchase, there’s no need to root around for information when you have to get in touch with a supplier or customer. It’s all there, ready to access.
  • Productivity is increased: Ultimately, implementing Spire lot tracking software means your business will significantly improve overall. When compared to the time-consuming nature of manual batch tracking, you save time, effort and money with inventory management. You can assign batch numbers to products and expiration dates seamlessly.

Furthermore, these points don’t touch on the fact that Spire’s lot tracking software is an all-in-one package that integrates accounting, inventory and sales management features. It means this one solution can manage your whole business.

Contact us today for a free trial of Spire.

Batch accounting and Real-time accounting the Spire Way

For a long time now, real-time accounting versus batch-based accounting has been a subject of debate. In this blog, we explore the benefits of each. We will also explain how Spire offers batches in some places and real-time accounting in others.


Batch-based processing has several advantages. In classifying entries to ensure accuracy, having better internal controls allowing a review before posting, and  in preserving the audit trail’s integrity. Batch-based accounting also makes sense for organizations processing large numbers of transactions. In some ways, batches are more efficient and easier to perform. Batches make sense when accumulating employee time and processing payroll altogether. This process allows for time saved in payroll. In the AR, depositing one cheque (or payment) at a time can be rather cumbersome. Unless it’s one big cheque, we are not likely to see bookkeepers making one deposit at a time, but rather a batch of many deposits at once. For organizations with no immediate need for information, it is reasonable to delay data processing by using batch-based accounting.


While in some cases, batch-based may allow for a more efficient and audit-tight way of processing accounting data, it also presents some disadvantages.  More and more businesses need the ability to take immediate action on items that are crucial to their business. For example, purchasing managers at the mercy of a batch-based system would find it counter-productive to wait until batches post to provide inventory reports. Knowing that the need for real-time data isn’t just for the finance people, these businesses end up spending more of their budget for add-ons to increase access to their data in real-time. In this scenario, real-time accounting is better suited.

Keeping track of every transaction as they happen gives department heads an instant view of their overall financial status. Thus enabling decision makers to make more accurate projections. Being able to filter and compare using real-time data means companies can keep a close eye on margins and identify areas that need improvement. We see this in adjusting product prices like landed costs (duties, shipping, etc.). This fucntionality ensures accuracy of margins and profits per item, empowering an organization and keeping them one step ahead of the competition.

Which process is right for your business?

Accessing and understanding the data that makes up your debits and credits is critical to growing a business. Data isn’t just a way to analyze numbers; it’s a helpful way to react to growth potential when the opportunity arises. It also potentially prevent risks that have yet to happen.  Mining meaningful data contributes to the company’s success, however when data isn’t processed the best way, it can be destructive. Especially when attempting to achieve your reporting requirements.

To summarize, with batch-based processes we analyze data over time:  weeks, months, quarters, or years; for some, that process works just fine and is preferred.  Real-time data is crucial for those needing to make fast decisions in fiannce and that extend beyond the accounting department.

The Spire Way

Spire offers batches in some places where it makes sense. In Sales Orders, you can choose to batch or live post when invoicing.  With batching, the invoices are held in a closed state until a supervisor reviews, makes any needed changes and then creates a batch.  Next, they would close the batch to post to AR and the GL.  With live posting, the invoices are posted to AR and the GL right away.  If changes are needed then a credit and rebill has to be done. Batch and Live processing in Spire are also available in Accounts Payables and Accounts Receivables and Payroll Timecards.

You can easily manage batch-based vs. live posting in Spire’s company settings. Learn more about Spire’s company and user settings by watching this webinar, where we also many other cool features.

Bottom line: Spire allows you to run your business the way you want – whether that be live posting or batch accounting, we can accommodate your process.

For more information on how Spire offers your choice of batch-based accounting or real-time accounting along with business intelligence reporting, click here. We’ll be happy to provide you with a free demo and help you further discover the power of Spire.

What’s Your Definition of Success?

Success. That word represents happiness, prosperity, and ultimately the accomplishment of dreams. However, success is mostly dependent on the parameters within which we as individuals place it. Professional success takes on a slightly different meaning depending on the individual who does the defining.

Most of us can agree that success is something we all strive for. Whether we are an artist, a visionary, or a business mogul, the end goal is still represented by our own interpretation of success. Before we can attain anything that remotely looks and feels like success, we must first overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in our way.

The average person might define successful individuals as those who have it all and never seem to be worn down by life’s overwhelming challenges. What these people fail to realize is that success can never be fully achieved unless the person stays motivated through failures and obstacles that are thrown in their way. Traditional concepts of success are all around us, with the most popular caricatures possessing wealth and popularity. Not everyone shares that definition of success.

For you as an individual, the importance of sifting through these traditional representations of success is the key to discovering your own definition. Do you dream of being your own boss? Are you passionate about devoting your time, energy and resources for a good cause? What warms your soul and brings a smile to your face? Answering these questions will help you redefine success for your life, and will help you eliminate the unnecessary pressure put on you by traditional concepts.

Money is rarely satisfying enough to become the definition of success. For those who use it to accomplish their true life goals, it becomes a means to an end that leaves them feeling truly successful.

Providing Good Customer Service with Your Business Accounting Software

Quality customer service is dependent on the efficiency of your office. Without the proper tools, your business will be left struggling to keep up with the competition, and your customers may very well turn to them for service that is more efficient.

So how can business accounting software aid your journey towards exceptional customer service? Is it very helpful, and if so, how do these tools enhance your ability to deliver on your promises? By identifying the benefits of business management software, we can help answer those questions.

Benefits of Business Accounting Software

Access to business software enables you to provide faster service to your customers. For example, should a client call requesting information on their shipment or why they happened to be charged a certain amount you need to have direct access to that data. Customers don’t like to be put on hold, and it’s your job to keep up with their needs and questions when they come calling. Business accounting software can give you the edge in these situations and help you answer your client’s questions almost immediately.

Another way that business software assists you in providing quality customer service is through employee morale. Remember, your staff is largely responsible for the interactions between your brand and your clients, and if their attitude is made sour by an impossible data system, that will reflect back onto your clients. Technology can make their life easier and your clients much happier in the end.

Finally, business software can also help your business stay in the know before trouble hits. Without accurate information, you simply will not be able to spot trouble before it becomes a serious issue.

By utilizing advanced software to manage your business, you stand a greater chance of accomplishing your goal of providing high-quality customer service.

What to Do with Low Priority Items

Every good manager or business owner has a to-do list that keeps them on the straight and narrow. However, issues can easily arise if you’re not simplifying your list wherever possible. For example, if you find yourself spending most of your time replying to customer inquiries, it might be time to pass on this task to a qualified individual. Doing so will help you knock out your to-do list, while at the same time assist you in keeping up with important information.

Low priority items can be any range of tasks from picking up dry cleaning, sending out invoices to scheduling staff meetings. The key is to know who to pass these work items off to while maintaining a high quality result. To determine what to do with your low priority to-do list items, consider a few important questions we’ve outlined below.

Can you make the task more efficient?

If you can streamline common tasks, such as providing business information directly on your website for clients to easily access, then do so. Ask yourself if the task can be completed in a simpler, yet efficient manner and then act on the answer.

Can you eliminate the task altogether?

If you’re completing tasks that largely go unnoticed by your customers, then why not consider eliminating it, or at the very least reducing it? Unimportant tasks can eat up your time without providing any financial benefit. Sort out these time-vacuums and start eliminating them.

Are there shortcuts available for the task?

You cannot receive an answer to a question you never asked, so start by asking yourself if and what shortcuts are available for repetitive tasks on your list. You might be surprised at what technology can do for you, and doing a bit of research will help you discover shortcuts you never knew existed.

Productivity is all about value, so if you can find a way to reduce the amount of work you’re doing then by all means do it!

Still Using Gmail or Hotmail for Your Business Email Address?

Most small businesses start off using a free email service like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. This helps keep costs low, especially if you’re a new business. However, using a free account as your professional email address may affect your business.

Here are reasons why you need to have your own domain for your business email address:

  1. First impressions matter. Using an email address such as [email protected] creates a professional image of your business. This helps demonstrate that you operate a legitimate and credible business.
  2. Gain trust and confidence from your customers. Customers can perceive a business as less established when using an email address such as [email protected]. Customers can also treat emails from your free account as spam.
  3. Build your brand. You’re not just selling a product or service, but establishing a brand. With a free email account, you’re promoting the free email service and not your brand. As well, an email address with a custom domain makes it easier for your customers to remember your email address.
  4. Flexibility. With your own domain, you can setup multiple aliases (such as [email protected], suppo[email protected], etc.) and manage it under your own account.

If you already have a website with your own domain name, then setting up a professional email address should be next on your to do list. If you don’t have a website, start off by registering a domain name and then set up your business email address.

Comparing Sage 300 ERP, Sage BusinessVision, and Spire

Business accounting software is a must for all businesses today. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, the need to lower costs and increase efficiency has never been more important than it is in today’s global market.

With many software vendors out there, it becomes a daunting task to find the right business management software for your needs. We compare Sage BusinessVision, Sage 300 ERP, and Spire to help you understand how each software can help your business.

Sage BusinessVision Software

For the past 5 to 6 years, there have been very few updates to Sage BusinessVision. The software relies on outdated technology such as Pervasive v10 and Crystal Reports v10. Both are no longer supported and there have been no updates to their database or reporting engine. The lack of new features makes it clear that Sage is no longer interested in making BusinessVision a modern business management software.

Sage 300 ERP (Sage ACCPAC)

Sage ACCPAC was renamed to Sage 300 ERP and has been one of the options for BusinessVision users looking for a replacement. Aside from being complex and expensive, Sage 300 is batch-based with no real-time processing. This means that all transactions and orders are processed at the end of the day and your updated data is only available the next day. Batch processing poses a major concern for businesses that carry inventory as you don’t have an accurate view of available stock.

Spire Business Software

Spire is an integrated business accounting software for small and mid-sized businesses with industry-specific needs. With Spire, you get a robust platform that is developed using the latest technologies that will scale as your business grows.

Here is a chart to show you how Spire compares with Sage BusinessVision and Sage 300 ERP.

spire sage 300 erp sage businessvision